A recent study has shown that pork is the most contaminated meat found on the market. The Consumer Reports study tested variations of the meat after being processed, revealing the majority of pork chops and ground pork to contain high levels of bacteria associated with food poisoning. As if the presence of bacteria wasn’t enough, the tests also showed that many of the strains are antibiotic-resistant.
The Consumer Reports study tested 148 samples of pork chops and 50 samples of ground pork from stores across the United States. Each was tested for contaminants, freshness and bacteria. Alarmingly, almost two thirds tested positive for bacteria.
The Yersinia enterocolitica bacteria was the main offender, present in a whopping 69% of the pork tested. Although not as commonly talked about as E.coli or salmonella, Yersinia enterocolitica causes infections in 100,000 Americans every year.
The bacteria was found mostly in the ground pork samples, which can be sometimes be mixed with meats from different pigs. Aside from the bacteria being present, the researchers found that many of the strains did not react to antibiotics that would normally extinguish the bacteria; farmers’ increased feeding of antibiotics to animals could be attributed to this aversion.
Although there’s no way for consumers to tell whether their meat is infected or not, buying meat labeled “no antibiotics used” will decrease the chances, as well as cooking the meat at 145 degrees for chops and 160 degrees for ground meat.
Via LA Times
Images ©Wikimedia Commons
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